Image Guided Biopsies (excluding thyroid and breast)

Q: How long will the test take?
A: Plan to spend most of the day with us. You will be admitted initially (30 min); go to the pre-procedural prep area (Clinical Support Unit) for a brief history and physical exam, IV fluids, and pre-procedure meds (60-90 min); go for your biopsy in the CT, Ultrasound, or Interventional Radiology suite (30-60 min); and then go back to the Clinical Support Unit for observation for 2-6 hours.

Q: Will the procedure hurt?
A: For most procedures, you will be sedated and/or given pain medication IV as well as local anesthetic.

Q: Is the procedure safe?
A: Yes, but there are risks associated with any medical procedure. The chance of bleeding so much that you will require a blood transfusion or another procedure to stop the bleeding is about 2%. The risk of a collapsed lung if you are having a lung biopsy is about 5-10%. The risks of your specific procedure will be discussed with you prior to your biopsy by the Radiology staff.

Q: How much radiation is involved?
A: For CT guided procedures, usually less than that of a typical CT scan. When done with ultrasound guidance, there is no radiation involved.

Q: Will I be put to sleep?
A: You will be given IV medication to control pain and/or sedate you while being continuously monitored by a nurse. These procedures do not require general anesthesia.

Q: Should I take my daily medications?
A: Take the medication that you routinely take every morning on the morning of your biopsy with a sip of water only. If you take insulin every morning, take only half of your usual morning dose. If you take anticoagulation medications like Coumadin, aspirin, Plavix, or Aggrenox, then you should stop taking them 5 days before the biopsy and re-start them the day after the biopsy.

Q: When will my doctor receive the results of the biopsy?
A: Two to five business days after the biopsy.

Q: What should I watch for when I return home?
A: Bleeding from the site, shortness of breath or chest pain, lightheadedness when standing from a sitting or lying position. If you have these symptoms, call the Interventional Radiology Service at the numbers below. If symptoms are severe, go directly to the nearest hospital Emergency Department or call 911.

Q: What should I avoid after I return home?
A: Do not drive a vehicle or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours. Light walking the day after the biopsy is acceptable. You may do more vigorous exercise thereafter.

Q: Will my insurance company cover the cost of my biopsy?
A: Yes

Piedmont Hospital: 404-605-3371

Weeknights, weekends and holidays (ANSWERING SERVICE): Piedmont Hospital: 404-352-1409